In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How long can you keep the raw chicken in the fridge?” We will also discuss how we can tell if the chicken is spoilt, whether we should eat chicken that has been in the fridge for a long time, and how we can keep raw chicken fresh in the fridge.
How long can you keep the raw chicken in the fridge?
You can keep the raw chicken in the fridge for about 2 days. In the case of cooked chicken, it can last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Since bacterial growth is slower at temperatures below 40°F (4°C), your chicken will stay fresh without any contamination when it is stored in the refrigerator.
Furthermore, to prevent juices from spilling and contaminating other meals, raw chicken should be stored in a leak-proof container. Likewise, refrigerate cooked chicken in an airtight container.
If you need to keep chicken for more than a few days, it is better to place it in the freezer.
Raw chicken pieces can be saved for up to 9 months, and a whole chicken can be preserved for up to a year. Similarly, cooked chicken can be frozen for up to 6 months.
How can we tell the chicken has gone bad?
- It has passed its “best by” date: Both raw as well as cooked chicken that has passed its “best if used by/before” date is more likely to be spoiled.
- Color changes: Raw or cooked chicken that is turning a gray-green color has gone rotten. Bacterial growth is characterized by gray-to-green mold spots.
- Smell: When raw or cooked chicken turns bad, it releases an acidic odor similar to ammonia. However, if the chicken has been seasoned with sauces, herbs, or spices, this fragrance may be difficult to detect.
- Texture: Chicken with a slimy and stiff texture has spoiled. Rinsing the chicken does not kill bacteria. Instead, it can transport pathogens from poultry to other meals, utensils, and surfaces, resulting in cross-contamination.
Should we eat chicken that has been in the fridge for a long time?
No, you shouldn’t eat chicken that has been in the fridge for longer than two days. That is the shelf life of a raw chicken and eating anything beyond that is rotten and can have harmful effects on your health. Food poisoning is the most common problem among people who consume chicken that has gone bad.
Chicken poses a high risk of food poisoning due to the presence of bacteria such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, and others. These bacteria are normally killed when fresh chicken is thoroughly cooked. However, it’s a different scenario if the raw chicken itself is spoilt, no amount of heat can kill these bacteria.
Many people ignore the shelf life of a chicken and eat chicken that is way past its best before date. They believe that re-heating or cooking will kill surface germs, but it will not remove some of the toxins produced by bacteria, which can cause food poisoning if consumed.
Food poisoning can result in unpleasant and potentially deadly symptoms such as a high fever (above 101.5°F or 38.6°C), chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloody stools, and dehydration.
Severe food poisoning may cause you to hospitalize and even lead to death in extreme circumstances.
How can we keep raw chicken fresh in the fridge?
Before you properly store the raw chicken, it is also important that you choose the freshest chicken from the supermarket. Choose raw chicken with pale pink skin. Put the raw chicken in a plastic bag to protect the juices from contaminating your other groceries. Keep the meat in the fridge as soon as you get home.
Keep raw chicken in its original container at home and only open it when ready to use. When you do open it, remember that fresh chicken meat has no odor. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every 25 packages of chicken may be infected with Salmonella germs.
Following proper storage techniques are critical to limiting the spread of microorganisms. Refrigerate raw chicken at temperatures below 40°F (4°C) to keep its freshness intact. It is safe to store the chicken on the lowest shelf to prevent drippings from the packing from contaminating other foods.
In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “How long can you keep the raw chicken in the fridge?” We have also discussed how we can tell if the chicken is spoilt, whether we should eat chicken that has been in the fridge for a long time, and how we can keep raw chicken fresh in the fridge.